Health and Fitness

The Power Of Food

Most of life's circumstances are beyond our control. Family, work and busy schedules can bring all of us a certain amount of stress and anxiety. In my work with patients with difficulty managing their weight, stress is often reported as the number one thing that triggers emotional eating, which means reaching for food for comfort and support rather than asking for help. Why? Because asking for help is hard. We tell ourselves stories about what it means to not have it all figured out, and then feel embarrassed, ashamed and just plain afraid of what others will think of us because we are facing the same challenges we faced six months or a year ago. What I'd like to emphasize is that most people are just so over scheduled, over committed and exhausted that asking for help also feels like one more thing to add to an extremely long "to do" list. However, research suggests that people are more likely to stick with any weight control program when a calorie controlled meal plan is combined with some form of group support.

Leptin-Based Pill To Control Hunger In Development At Universite De Montreal

A Universit de Montr al research team is developing a pill composed of leptin, the protein that tells our brain to stop eating. "Mice deprived of leptin will not stop eating. They become so big they have trouble moving around, " says Mo se Bendayan, a pathology professor at the Universit de Montr al Faculty of Medicine who has studied the leptin protein extensively. Leptin regulates appetite in mammals and its levels decrease when fasting and rise during meals. It has been proven to be an appetite suppressant when administered intravenously to pathologically obese people. Postdoctoral student Philippe Cammisotto is leading the charge for a leptin-based, appetite suppressing pill with Dr. Bendayan and mile Levy, a professor from the Department of Nutrition. "Taken orally, such a pill would provide obese people with the sensation of being full. They would eat less and in turn lose weight, " says Dr. Cammisotto. "We hope to start animal testing in 2010, " says Bendayan. "The molecule is easy to synthesize and the protocol is ready.

Warning Over Internet Sales Of Counterfeit Weight Loss Medication

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is warning consumers of the dangers of buying medicines from unregulated websites after the discovery in the United States of counterfeit Alli, a weight loss drug. The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) in the US has been working with pharmaceutical manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) following the report of counterfeit Alli, which although has not been found in the United Kingdom, is still potentially available to UK customers via the internet. Alli is available over the counter (OTC) in the UK with the genuine product containing the active ingredient orlistat. Laboratory testing of the suspected counterfeit product, 60mg Alli capsules (120 capsule refill kit), revealed it contained sibutramine instead of orlistat. The licence for sibutramine was recommended for suspension across Europe last week by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) following evidence to suggest an increased risk of non-fatal heart attacks and strokes.

This February, Make Creativity The Heart Of Your Fitness Routine

For Judy Hinderliter, taking care of friends means refusing to talk to them on the phone. Instead, when friends want to chat, Hinderliter, a dietitian and personal trainer at the UNC Wellness Center at Meadowmont, encourages them to join her for a brisk, heart-healthy walk. That's just one of the creative strategies for maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system that Hinderliter and her husband, Alan, a cardiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, share with their patients. Despite advances in medical care, heart disease has remained the leading killer of Americans for the past 80 years. Each year, about 650, 000 Americans die from heart disease, a term that refers to problems such as heart arrhythmias, heart failure and coronary artery disease, which can lead to heart attacks. Alan Hinderliter said mortality from heart disease has decreased in the past decade because of better treatments and lifestyle changes. "People are less likely to smoke than they were 20 years ago, " he said.

Multiple Issues Still On The Table In House-Senate Health Bill Negotiations

Reports explored contentious policies in the House and Senate versions of the health-overhaul legislation that are part of the final negotiations. The New York Times : One important - and until recently, rarely discussed - reform issue that splits Senate and House negotiators is states' roles in implementing the health care overhaul. "The House bill envisions a new federal agency to oversee a national marketplace in which people could buy insurance. But the Senate bill calls for the industry overhaul to take place on the state level, with marketplaces, or exchanges, set up in each of the 50 states." The difference could mean people may end up with significantly better or worse health coverage depending on which state they call home (Abelson, 1/13). CongressDaily : "Congressional leaders are asking the pharmaceutical industry to cough up an additional $10 billion to help pay for the healthcare overhaul as they search for revenue to fund what will likely be a more expensive final bill than the one the Senate produced last month.

Fighting Childhood Obesity At Home

You've heard the alarming statistic before: one-third of U.S. children and teens are overweight or obese, increasing their risk of developing health problems such as diabetes. But what can the typical parent do to prevent childhood obesity? Cindy Cunningham, a nutritionist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has a few tips that can help a child stay healthy. First, help babies avoid weight issues from the start of their lives. "Even people with a genetic tendency to be overweight can avoid excessive weight gain with good nutrition and exercise. Start with breastfeeding and introduce solid foods when the baby is developmentally ready around four to six months of age, " says Ms. Cunningham. "Learn to recognize your child's hunger signs and don't use food as a pacifier." Other tips include: -- Keep portions small and allow children to get a second helping if they're still hungry. -- Keep the healthy food and snack options, such as fruit, stocked in the kitchen. -- Don't give up on offering healthy foods, as it might take several tries before a child will accept.

Anti-Obesity Drug Banned In Europe

The European Medicines Agency (EMEA) has recommended that the appetite suppressant sibutramine, also known as Reductil, should no longer be prescribed by doctors and that pharmacists should no longer dispense the drug. Review People taking sibutramine should see their doctor to discuss an alternative, although it is safe to stop taking the drug in the meantime if they wish. The regulator has been conducting a review of safety and has concluded the increased risks of heart attacks and strokes do not outweigh the benefits. A trial of 10, 000 patients followed for six years comparing sibutramine to a placebo has not yet been reported but the regulator warned that heart attacks and strokes were more common in those taking the drug. People taking the drug only achieved modest weight loss when compared to those on a placebo, the report from the European Medicines Agency said. Recommendations Diabetes UK Care Advisor Caroline Butler said: "Following recommendations from the EMEA, we would advise people with diabetes who are overweight and taking sibutramine to see their GP or healthcare professional to discuss an alternative weight loss drug.

Fast Food Menus With Calorie Information Lead To Lower Calorie Selections For Young Children

In a new study, the amount of calories selected by parents for their child's hypothetical meal at McDonald's restaurants were reduced by an average of 102 calories when the menus clearly showed the calories for each item. This is the first study to suggest that labeled menus may lead to significantly reduced calorie intake in fast food restaurant meals purchased for children. Led by researcher Pooja S. Tandon, MD, from Seattle Children's Research Institute, these findings support nutritional menu labeling and show that when parents have access to this information they may make smarter meal choices for their children. "Nutrition Menu Labeling May Lead to Lower-Energy Restaurant Meal Choices for Children" published online January 25 in Pediatrics. At a pediatric practice in Seattle, 99 parents of 3- to 6-year-olds who sometimes eat in fast food restaurants with their children were surveyed about their fast food dining habits. They were presented with sample McDonald's restaurant menus which included current prices and pictures of items, and asked what they would select for themselves and also for their children as a typical meal.

Five Questions You Should Ask Your Doctor About Losing Weight

The American Society of Bariatric Physicians (ASBP) works with physicians so they're better prepared to deal with society's obesity epidemic. Even though people focus on weight loss more in January than any other month, successful weight loss is a year-round long-term initiative that goes far beyond just diet and exercise. The ASBP has highlighted five questions everyone who needs to lose weight should ask their physician. 1. Do I have other conditions that may be keeping me from losing weight? It is important when you begin any weight loss program that you visit with a bariatric physician who can identify any weight-related conditions that can slow or stop successful weight loss. A bariatric physician will do a complete medical work-up to assess your overall health and metabolic state. 2. Do I have hypothyroidism? Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormone is to "run the body's metabolism, " it is understandable that people with this condition usually have a slow metabolism and thus, difficulty losing weight.

Obesity And Anesthesia- Yes, There Is A Connection

At a time of year when people make plans to drop a few pounds, perhaps even consider bariatric surgery, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) wants to ensure the public has the facts regarding one's weight and the impact it may have on his or her anesthesia experience. The ASA has launched a campaign to educate the public on the issue, and empower the patient to make important lifestyle changes, whenever possible, before going under the knife. "The health implications of obesity are enormous. Illnesses associated with obesity such as Type 2 Diabetes, Obstructive Sleep Apnea, hypertension and cardiovascular disease have significant implications for patients requiring surgery and anesthesia, " said Martin Nitsun, M.D., Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, NorthShore University HealthSystem. "Obesity related changes in anatomy make airway management in this population challenging." Airway obstruction due to Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) can result in decreased airflow and oxygen in patients receiving even minimal amounts of sedation.

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